Workshop coordinator Grace Craigan fills us in on some exciting additions to this year’s workshop programme. 

“If there’s one thing we know about our beloved Port Elioters, they love to DO. Every year since festival one, there has been a bustle of hyperactive, interactive activity running through the heart of the festival – the flower show competition, the wardrobe department workshops, the wild woodland ball at Hullabaloo – but it’s never enough so last year we decided to dedicate an entire venue to the art of workshopping and all the good that comes with it.

We had a debut appearance from the wonderful Sarah Jane Humphrey – official RHS Illustrator – who held an hours crash course on botanical illustration for both kids and adults. Chef James Strawbridge taught us about smoking and curing meat and fish. Cornish outdoor experiences company, 7th Rise, showed us how to make BOOZE from WILD PLANTS (yes, I know). The Kenwood Ladies Pond Association of Hampstead Heath talked us through their intrepid (and at times hilarious) wild swimming adventures before launching us down the River Tiddy on their maiden Port Eliot Festival wild swims. Then to wind down we made fancy pants and frilly knickers with Lancaster and Cornish – a local haberdasher that sells stunning laces and ribbons using natural dyes and ancient techniques.

This year we’re doubling our efforts with two lots of workshops running in tandem. There will be astronomy walks and talks, natural silk dying, more botanical illustrating, diorama and collage making, campfire cooking, survival skills and an overnight campout for kids, headdress making, vintage swimming cap design, male grooming (byo beard), cider and cheese pairing, wild cocktail making and mixology classes, herbal first aid, yarn bombing, block printing, bead-making, sound art workshops, calligraphy, a travelling kids craft workshop, the Grand Port Eliot Clothes Swap and MORE!

You can book your place before you arrive so look out for information on social media or sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to find out.”